Tracking driving behaviors involves many daunting tasks, especially if you don’t own an Electronic Logging Device. You have to monitor hard cornering, excessive acceleration, and other bad driving behaviors. Not all ELD devices are reliable and finding the best ELD devices can be challenging.
In the United States, trailers and trucks must have an ELD installed.This is referred to as the ELD mandate and is often spoken about as being the ‘ELD final rule. Monitoring a driver’s working hours, this device is meant to replace paper logs. Whether you’re a casual driver, a carrier, or an operator, installing an ELD to your vehicle(s) can prevent accidents. ELD mandate compliance is non-negotiable and comes with serious consequences if not adhered to.
See Also: NextBase 522GW Dashcam Review
The ELD mandate law was passed to help prevent truck accidents on the road. It is no secret that truck drivers drive for many hours of the day and night and have very tight schedules to follow.
Traffic jams and other road inconveniences would set truckers behind, applying added pressure to work overtime and through breaks. This causes the number of road accidents to skyrocket. Truck drivers would be overtired and fall asleep at the wheel, as you can imagine the consequences were devastating.
Truck drivers were asked to fill in a paper log before the ELD mandate was implemented. Paper logs are easy to manipulate or are inaccurate due to human error, so they are no longer in compliance with the strict regulations surrounding the topic.
Finding the Best ELD Device
With a myriad of brands to choose from, selecting the best ELD devices for your business may prove to be quite overwhelming. Before selecting a product, you must consider its features, ease of use, and configuration.
Don’t rush when buying this device because you also have to consider compliance and compatibility. If you don’t, your newly purchased ELD may be incompatible with your vehicle or with state regulations.
To make sure that your money won’t go to waste, check out the top ELD devices this year in the buyer’s guide section. If you’re looking for the answer to a specific question with regards to ELDs, head to the FAQ section.
We have put together an electronic logging device review to make your choice clearer. Some ELD reviews are very vague or hard to understand with difficult to understand the jargon. We have simplified it for you in the hope to make your purchase as informed as possible.
The 13 Best ELD Devices of 2020
Before proceeding to read our review and comparison, write a checklist of features that are important to you, each vehicle is different and has specific requirements. If an ELD device is not compatible with your vehicle, it will not work properly and as you can imagine, there will be issues surrounding it in the long run. Head over to our buying guide if you are not sure what features are important to you.
Switchboard ELD Review
The Switchboard ELD is small in size. But what it lacks in size, it compensates in the number of features it provides to operators like you. It’s also easy to use and lightweight.
The driver application and carrier web portal can be used by total beginners. As long as you know how to use a smartphone or tablet, you can operate the Switchboard ELD with ease.
Additionally, the application runs smoothly on Android devices. It doesn’t require frequent updates and continual adjustments. You may use your own mobile or buy a Switchboard smartphone.
They are easy to install and usually connect without any hiccups to smartphones and tablets, so even the most tech-phobic drivers can use it with ease. An ELD device is not only a mandatory tool to have in the trucking industry but one that is there to ensure drivers are not overworked too.
The Switchboard ELD looks and feels like a child’s tablet. The applications and the dashboard are straightforward. Using an app installed in the ELD seems like using Facebook or your phone’s daily weather viewer. As we mentioned, they are not there to make your job harder, or to add to your daily tasks. Because of this, most companies have designed their ELD systems in a very user-friendly way.
It has the tools that your drivers need to browse and monitor their logs. They can add comments when they are changing their Driver Status doing routine roadside inspections or conducting a pre-trip inspection.
With a few taps, they can also run report recaps for the full-week. The logs include time used and time worked. When they make log corrections, they can see the exact modifications in real-time.
On top of all that, this ELD complies with FMSCA regulation and supports all required features. For its key features, see the list below.
Digital Vehicle Inspection Records (DVIRS)
Free email logs
Weight station bypass
Fault codes and engine diagnostics
Harsh braking notifications
ELD Chrome by Pedigree Technologies Review
As the number two product in this list, you can be assured that ELD Chrome has many features in store for you. This device is reliable and compliant.
For more than 12 years now, Pedigree Technologies have been known to offer high-quality Automatic On-Board Recording Devices.
The tablet comes with a plug-and-play cradle and a super-fast communication cable. These two add-ons eliminate the need for data plans and Bluetooth.
This one-view ELD offers Cab Mate One, enhanced visibility, cloud-based storage, and an upgradeable platform.
Here are its main features:
This application allows you to easily manage your fleet. The OneView applications offer two-click upgrades.
Pedigree’s ELD Chrome was referred to as FleetPOV. This is because of its ability to record critical compliance data electronically. It can record fuel receipts, state mileage, driving hours, and inspection reports for the different vehicles in your truck fleet.
In addition, you may utilize this ELD for dispatching and work orders.
Field tests have also proven its efficiency in generating electronic logbooks and streamlining reporting. For compliance, it supports the following features:
Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)
Document Image Capture
Fuel purchase forms generation
FMCSA-certified electronic driver logs
Automated Fuel Tax Reporting (IFTA)
An Open and Expendable Platform
The OneView platform is customizable. You can upgrade it easily to meet safety compliance, performance, and enterprise needs. Pedigree offers free APIs for every successful purchase of ELD Chrome. This enables you to integrate with 3rd party service providers for business growth.
Enhanced visibility and control
Scalable and expandable upon purchase
Provides complete visibility to your fleet
Offers more than a handful application for HOS
A bit complicated to use
Blue Ink Bit ELD Review
Affordability, fleet management tools, and ease of installation are only some of the features that you can enjoy by installing Blue Ink Bit ELD.
What’s more, most ELDs will require monthly fees for their services. Blue Ink is different. They don’t charge monthly fees.
Because of its basic design, the Bit ELD only offers basic FMCSA compliance features. In accordance with FMCSA requirements, this ELD is designed to collect the following data.
Engine ON/OFF status
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
The Web Dashboard and Bit ELD app are 100% free. In addition to this, the device is relatively easy to use.
For instance, you can easily change your Duty Status to Active or Inactive. Likewise, the logs are easy to certify. By just clicking every log, you can see event-based data.
When you install the BIT app in your mobile, you can access the dashboard and see the number of working hours left for every driver. It also showcases shift status and cycle times.
No monthly fees
Easy installation and ease of use
Movable and flexible
Ensures that enough logs is generated for every set cycle
Enables you to set up maintenance schedules
Allows for managing and accessing driving records
DOT and FMCSA compliant
Gorilla Safety ELD Review
Gorilla Safety is intuitive, user-friendly, and offers fleet and risk management solutions. On top of all of that, it’s a cloud-based ELD, which means it offers off-grid logging and secure storage and retrieval of data. Gorilla Safety ELD was one of the first companies to offer a cloud-based ELD system.
This ELD offers operators and drivers much more than just mandate compliance. With it, you can improve SMS scores, enhance productivity, and control operational costs. All of these stats can be managed in the Gorilla Safety app that you have to install on your phone.
Gorilla Safety’s ELD solution has three major components:
A cloud-based dashboard
Android and iOS applications
An Electronic Logging Device
When combined, the components above provides a number of features designed to integrate safety and efficiency into your fleet. You can manage many business processes in just one platform.
Here are the key features of Gorilla Safety ELD:
HoS electronic recording
Real-time reporting for client management
Tracking fleet assets through GPS for moth large fleets and small fleets
Storing and developing critical documents
Tracking and storing of critical documents
Durable and easy to use
Reliable risk management apps
GPS tracking enabled
Web-based and mobile dashboard
You must purchase the ELD as a bundled product
- High upfront costs and a 3-year contract with monthly fees
Eroad Ehubo Review
First and foremost, Eroad Ehubo is compliant with DOT and FMCSA requirements. Its second most appealing feature to drivers is its intuitive dashboard and interface. Reviewing and editing logs will be easy with this top-of-the-line Electronic Logging Device.
Eroad Ehubo’s back office features make it easy for you to edit and review logs. Its system can serve as a replacement to a distance tracker. It can even calculate fuel tax and consumption.
Here are its key features:
ELD compliance and IFTA reporting
Long-distance fleet management
Roadside enforcement and HOS reporting
Short-haul exemptions and timesheet reports
Ease of use and compact
Enables location tracking
Single in-vehicle unit
Fuel cost management
Real-time and project time reporting
Risk and safety alerts
GPS navigation feature pending
KeepTruckin ELD Review
KeepTruckin ELD truly shines in terms of ease of use and affordability. And, to make things even easier, it has its own smartphone app—which can be downloaded free of charge, available for both Android and iOS.
It would be safe to say that the app itself is the current best among bundled apps for ELD solutions. Quick reviews and recaps can be accessed with minimal presses. Logs editing is entirely hassle-free as well when you use KeepTrucking ELD.
KeepTruckin ELD is indeed feature-rich despite being marketed as an affordable alternative. It supports integration with the top TMS providers, aside from having a full list of telematics (e.g. engine status, geofencing).
It is easy to install, the system simply needs to be attached to the diagnostic ports while the engine is off and you are good to go. The device is directly connected to the engine diagnostics and can detect any issues in the vehicle.
This budget-friendly ELD also comes with these key features:
Support for messaging
Fuel optimization options
Accurate idling tracker
Safety scorecards for drivers
Fuel tax reporting (IFTA)
Much more affordable than most other ELDs
Easy-to-use interface, well-designed app
An impressive list of telematics despite the low price
Possible issues with contract and/or subscription terms
Omnitracs IVG Review
There’s no denying that Omnitracs is among the most trusted brands in the world of ELDs. And, their Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG) is being marketed as the next step in the evolution of telematics solutions.
While the Omnitracs IVG does have a full list of features that you would expect from a top-of-the-line ELD, it also boasts of functions that can only be described as innovative.
Wi-Fi integration, for example, makes it possible to do important tasks without having to be on the driver’s seat. Sending updates or even signatures and images can all be done through this system.
There are upcoming features as well, including a hotspot mode that should allow drivers to connect to the web through the IVG itself. This means that a number of smart devices can finally be used while on the road.
If you’re interested in its key features, here’s a quick rundownof what the Omnitracs IVG has to offer:
Critical event reporting (for improving CSA scores)
Drivewyze’s PreClear Support (system for bypassing weight station)
Clear, high-resolution touch display
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
Top-of-the-line features and functionalities
Support for popular connectivity options
Straightforward installation (uses a single cable)
Can work with voice commands
Rather expensive, especially in terms of its upfront cost
Likely to be out of reach cost-wise, at least for some
ELD Solutions is a privately owned company based in the United States. They are experts in the trucking industry and have years of experience in the field.
They pride themselves on their customer service and clearly state that they do not push products or features on you if they are either irrelevant or unnecessary.
ELD Solutions have four key values, here is a little bit about what they believe in:
Customers are at the center. They are determined to provide customers with the best customer service possible, along with the highest quality products that will kick other brands to the curb. Investing your money into a business that strives to be the best in the field is encouraging.
Before making a business decision that could affect their customers, they ask themselves the following question; ‘How does this enrich the lives of our customers and/or team?’.
Investing in such a people-focused company gives you as a customer peace of mind knowing that they not only care about you, but they care for their staff too.
ELD Solutions strives to build healthy business relationships in order for them to learn and grow. Collecting information from other business leaders is an important attribute for a company. They certainly take the ‘sharing is caring’ approach when it comes to running the company and it sure does pay off.
Having a satisfied customer is not enough for ELD Solutions. They want their customers to feel cared for and nurtured during and after the purchase.
The company values and mission sound good so far. ELD Solutions offer ‘Solutions’ for the following:
- ELD compliance dedicated device
- ELD compliance BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
- Fleet Management Solutions
- Asset tracking
- Reefer tracking
ELD Solutions have either an ELD tablet device or a hard-wired device to choose from. The ELD tablet device comes with a pre-loaded driver app, ELD module, and tablet device. The hard wire device comes with an ELD module, docked device, and pre-loaded driver app.
Tablet Device Key Features:
- ELD module and adapter cable
- Charger cable
- Tablet devise and protective case
- 1 year limited warranty
- E-logging car sticker
- Quick reference guide
Hard-Wired Device Key Features
- Adapter cable
- Charging mount
- tablet device
- protective case
- 1 year limited warranty
- Quick reference guide
- Reliable software
- Great fleet management solutions
- Useful app
- Easy to use
- Add-ons can push the price up
Garmin eLog offers clients a product with a simple setup and easy to use the product. They ask for a one-time purchase for their services with no subscription fees.
Their device is stand-alone and compatible with semi-trucks and most trucking vehicles. They offer devices that are in compliance with FMCSA ELD mandates at an affordable cost.
The Garmin eLog app is free to download on smartphones or tablets and is compatible with both Android and Apple phones. The app completes your compliance solution.
The HOS recordings are stored safely and securely on your compatible smartphone. Note, that your smartphone has to have Bluetooth and GPS features for the app to work. Recordings can be easily accessed for inspection via the USB port or Bluetooth.
When you purchase the ELD device, you will receive a Garmin ELD, a quick start manual, and a 6-pin J1708 adaptor. There are not very many accessories available, in fact, the only accessory available and necessary is the app.
We like how Garmin eLog has a support center that has fast track links to getting the answers you were looking for. Their customer service is generally great and their service team is always happy to help.
- Stand-alone device
- No subscription fees t
- Free appt
- Stores ELD records safely
- Compatible with most vehicles
- USB port for easy record retrieval
- Smartphone compatibility
- No subscription fees
- There are very few accessories to go with the ELD device.
Overall, we feel like sometimes simplicity is key. It isn’t always necessary to go for an ELD device that can be linked to this and that and must have lots of accessories. This is one of the reasons that we chose the Garmin eLog ELD to be on our top 13 list.
The Rand McNally ELD device is one of the most compact devices on the market. Installation takes just a few seconds and it is ready to collect data almost instantly.
The ELD 50 needs to be plugged into the J-bus port. Following that, the truck driver must download the driver connect app and start their monthly service plan. You must pair your smartphone to the ELD 50 device via Bluetooth.
You can use your own smartphone to pair with the ELD 50, or, you can pair the device to a Rand McNally truck navigation device. Pairing the ELD 50 to a Rand McNally truck navigator will allow you to view and certify logs, complete DVIRs and change duty status.
One of the main attractions to the ELD 50 is that it has up to 2 days worth of recording abilities without being synced to a smartphone or tablet. This comes in handy when you do not have cellular connection or data. Better yet, the device will send you a notification when it needs to be synced with your smartphone.
The app will allow you to view 10 different diagnostic gauges, including boost pressure, gallons per hour, battery voltage, and oil pressure. Storing logging history is easier than ever with the DriverConnect web portal. You can store up to 6 months worth of logging on the portal.
Rand McNally has great fleet solutions, as well as other trucking services available to you. They are a reliable ELD device company and overall were very impressive indeed.
- Easy to install
- Compatible with your smartphone
- Driver Connect web portal
- Quick start guide
- Contact card
- ELD sticker
- Backed up incase you loose connection
- Small and compact
- Easy to install
- Compatible with most smartphones
- Subscription is necessary
What is an ELD?
An Electronic Logging Device (E-Log or ELD) is electronic hardware attached to a commercial vehicle. Its main purpose is to record driving hours, otherwise referred to as ‘hours of service’ or ‘HoS’, but it also offers many safety benefits.
Very often, the working hours of bus and truck drivers are regulated by the Hours of Service (HoS) in the United States. In Europe, there’s a similar set of rules called Driver’s Working Hours.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues the HoS regulations. They also govern the driving hours of any individual who is operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in the US.
It limits the number of weekly and daily hours spent working and driving. The regulations apply to bus, truck, and other CMV drivers. HoS regulations regulate the minimum amount of time of shifts and rest periods. ELDs make this possible.
An Electronic Logging Device monitors a vehicle’s engine. It collects data on whether or not the engine is functioning properly. It also records the miles driven and the duration of engine operation.
A decade ago, paper logs or electronic onboard recorders were utilized for HoS tracking. Although EOBRs offer accuracy, the absence of a uniform data form implies that the logs must be printed on paper. This must be done for enforcement and review.
Within the ELD legislation, the Record of Duty Status clause defines the format and sets the rules for enforcement personnel review. This is why the mandate for ELDs was created.
The FMSCA has already announced the Final Rule of the mandate. Fleets equipped with ELD technology have only until December 2019 to comply with the published specifications.
All in all, an ELD is a high-tech device that monitors the HoS of a CMV. In the US, FMCSA inspectors will strictly regulate ELDs. Hence, you must only select the ELD that can comply with the set standards.
The buyer’s guide below can further help you pick the right device for your vehicle or fleet. The section after that will introduce to you the best ELDs of 2020.
ELD Buyer’s Guide
Like other fleet managers or drivers in the US, you are probably accustomed to EOBRs. However, paper logs won’t be allowed anymore. And, installing an ELD device is now required for CMVs. If you’re caught utilizing an EOBR, you could face a $ 1,000 fine.
The ELD mandate might have caught you by surprise. It’s official now. Like other laws, the mandate has more than a handful of requirements that you have to meet.
As such, your ELD device(s) should comply with these standards, in addition to being compatible with your commercial motor vehicle(s). Don’t be like other operators who made rash decisions and ended up with the wrong ELD.
Before selecting a service provider and ELD, read on the important features and aspects below.
Ease of Use and Compatibility
If you’re an operator, you probably own different models of trucks. In this case, you should avail of an ELD solution that is compatible with almost all make of vehicles.
The Geotab Drive, for example, is very flexible. It streamlines complex business processes, such as Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting and Hours of Service.
Getting a universal ELD solution can help you save time and money. As an example, you don’t need to train your workers to install drives and operate multiple systems. Also, when you have to sell old trucks and buy new ones, you can reuse your universal ELDs.
After compatibility, consider ease of use. The ELD must not be complex. Recruits must be able to operate it after a rundown of its main functions and operation. Drivers are often busy; reduce their tasks a bit by installing a user-friendly Electronic Logging Device.
Do settle for hardware and software that can be configured for your needs or the needs of your fleet. In the future, you may have to upgrade your device(s). Hence, your preferred model must not only be flexible but also upgradeable.
You should likewise watch out for free Software Development Kits (SDKs) and APIs. Due to the high demand for ELDs, many manufacturers are now offering freebies.
The device should also allow easy integration with the service providers available in your area and third-party solutions, like temperature sensors, TMS applications, fuel cards, and cameras.
Universal and user-friendly ELDs enable operators to access comprehensive truck data.
Best Cloud-Based ELD Models
Cloud-based ELDs are superior to basic ELDs. HOS is important to your business. As such, leveraging cloud computing is necessary. Why is this so?
Cloud-based ELDs don’t require pairing with other devices to store and transfer data securely. A simple malfunction won’t affect data storage, retrieval, and collection.
Drivers will also have an easy time maintaining accurate logs, even when they are operating different trucks. Such ELDs rely on cloud technology, not on cellular coverage.
Best Event-Based ELDs
The event-based feature enables you to periodically check the location of the device. With it, you can also monitor the speed of the vehicle, even if it is thousands of miles away. Every time ping can occur in intervals of 1 to 15. This can aid you in ascertaining the status of the vehicle when it’s out of coverage.
Every “event change,” such as braking and harsh acceleration, will be recorded in the device. Event-based logging will allow you to manage your trucks more effectively than when using paper logs.
Best Off-Grid Logging Devices
In case you choose a basic ELD, the device will rely on the available cellular network to transmit and record data. Such models will not work when the truck is out of coverage. But if off-grid logging is enabled, every log will be saved in the device’s built-in memory. When the device is within coverage again, you can retrieve the data for the offline logs.
If you’re an operator, you know how crucial it is for your business to maintain good safety scores. ELD-related violations can affect your SMS scores.
Costly violations can eat a huge chunk in your profit. They may also turn brokers and insurers away. Some ELDs notify drivers when they are about to break a violation. With this feature, you can avoid fines and violations during inspections and maintain a good CSA score.
Before choosing a product, first, check whether or not the model is registered with the FMCSA. Now, you should also check whether or not the vendor is licensed to sell ELDs.
If the seller is on the FMCSA ELD vendor list, then you can be assured that their products meet the required technical specifications.
Frequently Asked Questions (faqs)
What is the ELD rule?
The ELD mandate (ELD Final Rule) is a United States Federal Government regulation. It specifies that operators of CMVs must use ELDs.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has begun enforcing the mandate since December 18, 2017. The OOSC associated with the said law have gone into effect on April 1, 2018.
Who is exempted from the ELD Final Rule?
If you don’t use a commercial working vehicle, you are exempted from this rule.
How much does an ELD cost?
With the Final Rule, the FMCSA estimates that an ELD will cost operators or CMV owners $150 annually. On average, an Electronic Logging Device can cost you $150 to $550. Installation fees may range from $120 to $350.
Why are older trucks exempted from the mandate?
This is due to the fact that old trucks are often equipped with an engine older than the 2000s model.
What vehicles are ELD exempt?
Vehicles equipped with timecards
Vehicles manufactured before 2000
Recreation vehicle trailers
Vehicles that tow mobile homes
Why are glider kits exempted from the ELD mandate?
Not all glider kits are exempted from the mandate. If it’s a 1980s or 1990s model, then it’s free from the Final Rule.
How far can a truck drivers in the US legally drive in a day?
CMV drivers can only travel 550 miles per day.
Will the ELD mandate be overturned?
It may not be overturned. It’s already a federal law.
What is the 100 air mile exemption?
This exception is for CDL drivers. CDL drivers are typically drivers of CMVs over 26,000 lbs. They go off duty after completing a 12-hour shift, and they can only operate within 100 air miles daily.
Operators and CMV drivers in the US are now rushing to get their hands on top-of-the-line ELDs. Before doing this, you must stop and consider whether you’re really investing in the right device.
As mentioned above, there are several aspects that you can use to appraise an ELD. GPS tracking is popular—but the ease of use, off-grid logging, cloud-based data storage, and event-based logging are more important than other features.
On top of all of that, the model, vendor, and the manufacturer must be certified by the FMCSA. The device must have the required features listed in the ELD mandate.
The Switchboard ELD, the number one Electronic Logging Device of 2020, offers all of the features and aspects above. It improves the security of your commercial vehicle(s) with its alerts and safety management.
The bottom line is that these devices must be looked at as one of the most positive things to have happened in the truck driving industry. They are there for your safety as a driver.
Never purchase an ELD device that does not comply with the rules and regulations of the ELD mandate. To ensure the device is compliant, opt for devices that have been FMCSA certified, and have a reliable and trustworthy track record.
Regardless of what ELD device from the above list caught your eye, either one of them would do you justice. Most of the above are compatible with most vehicle types, so as long as it is compatible with yours, you are good to get on the road.
Please comment on your experiences with ELD devices and which one you or your company are using at the moment. Your opinions are important to us!
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